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Pages: 124
Goes Well With: A dish of candy hearts and a nice cup of tea

Not2Nite, a Candy Hearts Romance by Barbara Burke, has a nicely enticing candy-hearted cover, showing the moon and a German bomber over a dark-skied London, which sets the tone for a story of 1940s transatlantic romance. The scene quickly becomes even more real when the reader turns the page, and an American called Guy steps out of the pub into the totally terrifying darkness of true blackout.

Not2Nite is a story told with pleasing humor (ah, the irony of cracking your head on a blacked-out lamppost!) and a thoroughly convincing voice. While American Guy just wants to avoid further lampposts, warden Molly, in very English tone, wants to protect her city from errant fires. Her English manners contrast delightfully with Guy’s wealth of unknowing, and that lends a great sense of authenticity to this tale—not to mention many laugh-out-loud moments.

Not2Nite is spiced with great dialogue (both British and American), sweet humor, and wonderfully satisfying role-reversal. “[W]here I come from it’s the men that protect the women,” says Guy, but Molly will happily “step on your male ego” to keep you—and London—safe. Which is all very well, but will she be able to resist the wondrous lure of American candy?

Filled with well-researched period detail, happy memories of movies and movie stars, and a genuine sense for London and Londoners, Barbara Burke’s novella has the perfect blend of danger’s tartness and love’s sweet flavor—like a perfect candy heart. Enjoy cups of tea, discussion of Anglo-French relations, Rupert Bear, the pain of revelation, and the quiet lure of love. This book has it all—for English or American readers. And in a time of war, one short Not2Nite might mean love, hope, faith in the future—or all three.

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